AISI Concerned About Decision to Include Japan in TPP Negotiations

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For Immediate Release
April 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In reaction to the announcement today by the acting U.S. Trade Representative paving the way for Japan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks this year, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) expressed concern about the potential impact of this move on the steel industry and its auto customers and reiterated its position that the issue of currency manipulation should be addressed in the TPP negotiations.

Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO, said the North American steel industry has urged the U.S. government to work with its NAFTA partners to ensure that any trade agreement reached through the TPP negotiations enhances the international competitiveness of North American steel producers and North American manufacturing supply chains.  However, he added, “the addition of Japan to these negotiations raises significant concerns for us given the historically closed nature of the Japanese auto market and Japan’s recent actions to substantially weaken its currency.  For the TPP to advance U.S. interests and stimulate the U.S. economy, it must ensure a level playing field for all U.S. manufacturers.”

“Currency manipulation to gain an unfair competitive advantage is among the most destructive trade-distorting practices used today,” said Gibson.  “The decision to include Japan in the TPP talks further highlights the need for the United States to include strong currency disciplines in the TPP to ensure that no country is permitted to use this practice to gain an unfair competitive advantage for its exporters.” 

The inclusion of Japan in the TPP is subject to consensus agreement of the other 10 TPP partners and any final TPP agreement is subject to approval by Congress.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 124 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI’s member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at .

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 /

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